Monday, 31 October 2011

Home made bread... in 5 minutes a day!

Baking bread is one of those activities that, in years gone by has seemed like more effort than it's worth with all the kneading, rising, punching, rising again and then finally baking the darn thing! Surely popping down to our local supermarket is much easier!?

Easier, maybe... Cheaper?? No!... better?? Definitely not! Aside from the occasional expensive treat of a loaf of sourdough from the Warrandyte or Abbotsford Convent Bakery, the bread that our little family can afford is by no means up to the standard of a lovely home made loaf.

With frugality and flavour in mind I have been on the look-out for a decent EASY bread recipe and (praise the Lordy!) I have found one! This recipe makes a large portion of dough that can be used to make around 4 loaves and can be kept in the fridge in a lidded container for up to 14 days. We usually use the whole lot in a couple of days as we are greedy like that. One loaf is never enough!!

You can visit the original site (with extremely detailed instructions) at HERE or you can stick with me while I give you my take on this beauty!

Picture from (I would have included one of my own however we ate it all before I could photograph it... It looked a lot like this one)

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day

3 cups of luke-warm water (just warmer than body temperature)
1 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt (I have reduced this measurement as the original recipe was far too salty in my opinion)
6 1/2 cups unsifted flour (no need for bread flour, run-of-the-mill is fine. You could use wholemeal or mix some rye or spelt with plain flour if that kind of thing rocks your socks)

Preparing the dough:
1. In a large bowl (lidded is good but not essential), add yeast to warm water and stir
2. Throw in the flour and salt and stir until uniformly moist
3. Allow to rest and rise for at least 2 hours before using a portion

Baking the bread
1. Grease a flat tray and pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees celsius (put a shallow tray of water on the bottom of the oven- this makes the crust extra crispy!)
2. The mixture will be sticky so dust the top with flour before slicing off a portion with a serrated knife. Place a quarter of the mixture (or more/less.. whatever you fancy really) on the tray and allow to rise a further 15-20 minutes
3. Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash a couple of deep lines in the top (you don't have to.. it's just vanity) and bake until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the  (about 20-30 minutes usually)

Repeat this process whenever you want to bake some of your dough. The "older" the dough is, the more it will take on sourdough qualities.

I discovered this when trying to salvage my very salty batch of dough. When mixing the flour and salt in, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup warm honey. This really lifted the bread to the next level.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

YOU ROCK PHIL! Skinny Latte Strikes Back!: the skinny on the cosmo blog awards

My lovely Phil just won best health and fitness blogger at the Cosmo Blog Awards UK!!

Click below for more!


Skinny Latte Strikes Back!: the skinny on the cosmo blog awards: To quote Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, "oh, what a night!" :) Rather than keep you all in suspense (and this is why my novel is not...

12WBT week 6- belated video post

I forgot to upload this video. It was a couple of weeks ago now! I'll be sure to record and upload another soon!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My babes- family update..

I have been spending so much time focusing on the 12WBT that I haven't updated on my kidlets for a while.

We are all cruising along nicely now having just overcome a bit of a cold. Richie has been diagnosed with asthma and has some ventolin to take when his wheezing gets worse. The spacer and mask are so cute on him and he has figured out that it makes him feel better so he doesn't fight it any more and just grabs it as he knows it makes him feel better. 

He is 7 1/2 months now and is sitting, commando crawling, saying "mum-mum" and "ta" and is being generally cute. He is a great eater and can handle a whole variety of foods now. We didn't do a whole lot of purees but he much prefers chunks of food. We realised this morning that he ate more than me for breakfast! I ate a bowl of cereal with skim milk and he devoured a bowl of cereal with yoghurt, rye sourdough toast with cream cheese and half a mango! He boobs about 5 times a day too & is not showing any sign of dropping any feeds.

Here's a few recent snaps of the lad:

Oh yeah, he can pull up to standing too!

Molly is doing great and she has recently started school transition. She is growing so fast I can't believe it! She is developing some beautiful friendships with a few kinder kids, some who are going to school with her next year so I'm feeling really positive about her being a big school girl! Wow! How time flies!

We recently went the Collingwood College school fair (It was seriously good! Put it in your diary for next year!) and had a wonderful time browsing cake stalls, trash & treasure, their amazing kitchen garden, making flower garlands and eating wood fired pizza from the amazing permanent pizza oven in the school grounds. Molly brought her own money and chose to spend it on some ballet shoes and this giant ball of fairy floss.

Bigger than her head fairy floss!
Here's another pic of her being a doofus:

Anywho... I'm feeling a bit crappy today so I might leave it there. I would love to update this blog more often but am finding a bit hard to balance everything at the moment.

Hope you're all fab!

PS: CONGRATS to Phil at Skinny Latte Strikes Back For winning a Cosmo Blog Award! You deserve it honey!

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